A fat-free recipe for Bean Bulgur Salad flavored with green, vibrant spinach and basil pesto. Add more spinach, mangoes and tomato for bold flavor.
I have been really busy which is why you haven’t been seeing me around much, but I wanted to drop in today with a quick, easy and fat-free recipe for this delicious Bean Bulgur Salad with Pesto.
This is the perfect brown-bag recipe, and it has so many textures and flavors that you’ll never miss the fat. It’s also rather easy to make, once you have cooked the bulgur (and the beans, if you’re not using canned).
I used some white beans for this recipe, but there are also chickpeas here, although those disappear almost completely into the creamy spinach and basil pesto. To add more summery flavor to my salad, I added some mangoes and some tomatoes just off the vine. If you don’t mind some healthy fat, some toasted walnuts would be fabulous in here. But because I wanted to make this recipe completely fat-free, I left them out.
You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by substituting some quinoa or rice for the bulgur. Quinoa would give a further protein boost to this recipe which already has more than 15 grams each of protein and fiber.
Here’s the recipe, and I promise to be back soon with more. Until then!
- 11/2 cups dry Great Northern beans (approximately 5 cups cooked). You can use canned.
- 1/2 cup dry bulgur
- 2 ripe mangoes, seed removed and chopped into a fine dice.
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1/4 red onion optional, minced
- 2 cups roasted or steamed corn
- 2 packed cups of spinach, cut into ribbons
- For the pesto:
- 1 1/2 cups packed spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup basil
- 1 cup canned chickpeas
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground black peppers
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Salt to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Cook the beans if using dry, by covering the beans with an inch of water, bringing it to a boil, covering and letting them cook until they are fork-tender but still holding their shape. This might take more than an hour, although the process would be much quicker in a pressure cooker. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the bulgur by placing in a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat to a simmer. Let the bulgur cook for 15 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Make the pesto by placing all of the pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add a few tablespoons of water and process into a fairly smooth paste.
- In a large bowl, mix the bulgur, beans, spinach, corn and pesto.
- Add the mangoes, onion and tomatoes and stir to mix.
- Serve warm or cold.
More flavorful salads: